* Parents' active involvement with their child's education at home and in school brings great rewards and can have a significant impact on their children's lives. According to research studies, the children of involved parents are absent less frequently, behave better, do better academically from pre-school through high school, go farther in school, and go to better schools. * American parents tend to be very engaged in their child’s schooling when they have access to school officials’ information about their child’s curriculum, and when they feel invited to engage in their child’s school and capable of doing so. Access, curriculum information, and comfort in school relations are the three most important dimensions involved in parent involvement. * Various demographic factors predict parental involvement. Parents are more involved if there are girls as compared to boys and fathers are generally less involved than mothers. Mothers in single parent households are slightly more involved in their children’s education than fathers.
MEXICO (The country’s family role in their education and challenges they face in bringing their children into a different culture.) * Parental involvement in the schooling activities of nonimmigrant families is also gendered, with mothers usually undertaking the bulk of tending to their children's educational needs and the day-to-day school activities and administrative requirements such as enrollment, parent-teacher conferences, afterschool activities, and homework. * Most Mexican children are major players in their households when it comes to assisting their parents in three broad areas. These three primary tasks summarize the roles that children undertake in assisting their household settlement. * The first is as tutors--children served as translators, interpreters, and teachers for their parents and younger siblings. * A second important activity that children undertake in assisting their immigrant households to settle is as advocates, a role in which children intervene, mediate, or advocate on behalf of their parents or their households during difficult financial, legal, or other complicated transactions or situations. * Third and last, children actively participate in their household settlement as surrogate parents where they undertake nanny or parent like activities in the caring of younger household members and in other household tasks. * Today, when an immigrant family arrives in the United States it is important because it allows them to explore whether there might be differences in the degree to which children assist their households to settle, based on the availability of local or regional institutional resources. (To assist with their settlement, immigrants are able to use both community-based and familial/kin resources at much higher rates today than, during the immediate post-World War II immigrant era in which immigration was not nearly as high as in the post-1965 era) * Families who immigrated to the United States prior to 1965 actually relied on their children to a larger degree because of the fewer immigrant resources available to newcomer households in places such as Los Angeles, during that era. Immigration is not an easy process even now, but the context of a receiving community is much different and perhaps allows for less reliance on children to perform complex tasks and interventions as parents and households maneuver through settlement than in the past. * First, young girls seemed to participate at higher rates than boys in those tasks that required detailed explanations or translations. Second, boys, even though they assisted their households in numerous activities related to settlement, did not have the same responsibility roles or influence as did the girls. Third, the eldest child, regardless of gender, often took the lead role in assisting younger siblings with what is usually done in the household by the mother, such as feeding and caring for younger siblings, getting the brothers and sisters dressed for school, transporting them to and from school, and baby-sitting. * There is the misperception that schooling has a lower priority for immigrant families but, rather, the children themselves are more apt to deal with irregularities or regular activities related to schools than are their working parents. Children walk with their older siblings to school, act as interpreters between teachers and their parents, and often take a larger role among their siblings in school success or failure. Parents are not, however, completely uninvolved in their children's school activities. * Immigrant families are often poor or have two adults working to make ends meet, or they merely do not understand the particularities and varied processes of schooling in the United States. As a result, their children, especially older siblings, are utilized to take over the adult responsibilities of school-related activities.
From the United States to Mexico
* The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City estimates that there are more than 1,000,000 Americans living in Mexico. Some are working, of course, for U.S., Mexican, or other foreign corporations. You’ll find them in cities like Mexico City, Queretaro, and Monterrey. * In all, 1.4 million Mexicans — including about 300,000 children born in the United States — moved to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, according to Mexican census figures. These are deportees who were sent back to the U.S. and now their children have to adapt to Mexican schools. The result is an entire generation of children who blur the line between Mexican and American. * Unlike Mexicans, American adults tend not to depend upon their children to assimilate into society. American adults are more likely to attend classes to learn the language and navigate the culture for themselves. * For many students coming from schools in the U. S., life is so different. There, most schools had a playground; but in Mexico it is often just a concrete slab. In the U.S. computers were common; but in Mexico there are none. * The educational disparities between Mexico and the United States are not always so stark. At the elementary level, some of Mexico’s schools are on par with, or even stronger than, the overcrowded, underfinanced American schools that serve many immigrant children, education experts say. * But Mexican schools lag when it comes to secondary education. In many areas of Mexico, especially places where the tradition of migration is not as well established, Mexico’s educational bureaucracy can make life difficult for new arrivals. It is not uncommon for American students to be barred from enrollment for a year or more because they lack proper documents. * Low high school graduation rates in the northern industrial states of Baja California and Chihuahua hinder development of a highly educated work force. * Many American as well as Mexican students illegally cross the border into San Francisco to attend an American high school.